Tag Archives: videos

7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 178

— 1 —

I’m always a little miffed when a solemnity sneaks up on me. I made a Catholic calendar for Google; you’d think I’d actually read it sometimes. The problem is mostly that I have prayed the incorrect day of Night Prayer.

On the bright side, I realized that it’s a Friday solemnity. That means it’s Meatday again! This is the last one until the Friday after Christmas, so enjoy your Church-approved bacon!

This is like the Friday after Easter! (Click for full size.) (image from Slightly Orange)

— 2 —

Next on the list of things I’ve nearly forgotten, I am now three days into the Novena to St. Maria Goretti, my favorite saint. She’s my favorite saint, so I was super embarrassed to forget to start it on the correct day (Wednesday), but I prayed two days’ worth yesterday, so it’s all good. (And I already did today’s, so hooray!)

— 3 —

I have discovered the benefit of pre-meetings. Get-It-Done Guy has recommended pre-meetings for ages (under “Meeting to Make Decisions”), but I never attempted to actually have one until now. (Sure, that was because my boss/priest asked me to, but that totally counts!) Instead of trying to hash out a plan with six interested parties all at once, I’m trying to meet with four of them individually and use the big group meeting to combine and summarize all our ideas. I’ll let you all know how it turns out.

— 4 —

I try not to turn Jen‘s Quick Takes into mine, but she is going to write about “Somebody That I Used to Know” next week, so I had to watch her recommended covers and share the “five people, one guitar” one I posted here. So, here’s Ingrid Michaelson playing ALL THE INSTRUMENTS!

— 5 —

I did a lot of evening traveling this week. In addition to my usual Monday night holy hour and my new Wednesday night Bible study, I went to a happy hour straight from work yesterday.

On Tuesday, a coworker drove us all the way to Temple straight from work. We had to leave at 5:15 to get there just before 7 p.m. (oh, Austin traffic), but it was worthwhile. I got to see Bishop Joe in his non-Mass fancy clothes (purple cassock and surplice) and to support our student who received the Lumen Gentium Award. It’s an annual diocesan award to the person or couple in each parish who has best been a “light to the world” (as in the encyclical Lumen Gentium, which I am coincidentally reading right now).

— 6 —

I also “traveled” to the eye doctor this week. It’s been five years, so I figured it was time. I have also finally realized that squinting against the summer sun is not a good idea, so I’m going to need sunglasses, and it would be silly to use a five-year-old prescription for them. To my delight, my eyes haven’t changed very much. Frame shopping is always tricky; if I could see how I looked, I wouldn’t need them! My new plan is to take iPhone photos of myself and evaluate that way. We’ll see how it goes.

— 7 —

Here’s some great music as you slide into however much time you get off for Independence Day. Amazon MP3 is offering 20 summer songs (classic and 2012) for 25 cents each! One quarter for “Call Me Maybe” or The Fresh Prince’s “Summertime” (featuring DJ Jazzy Jeff)! (They also have 50-cent Linkin Park songs. Those are less seasonal, but some are equally catchy.)

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Fan Mixes FTW! (Review: “Vice Re-Verses”)

When Amazon MP3 offered its most recent free music credit, I jumped on it and finally got around to purchasing Vice Re-Verses, Switchfoot’s remix album of songs from last fall’s Vice Verses. Between the drive to work on Thursday and some downtime on Friday, I finally managed to listen to it. Nevertheless, I declare that my Switchfoot passion remains strong.

Here’s my track-by-track review:

  1. “The Original” (JT Daly Remix): I love “The Original,” but I found myself annoyed by this remix. It was too high-pitched and tinny. Switchfoot’s music has grown more bass-driven and layered over time. This stripped too much of that away, so it totally lost the original sound.
  2. “Selling the News” (Photek Remix): I didn’t like the techno driving this remix. When you don’t like the bass line, it’s hard to get into a song. (Contrast this with “My Sharona,” by The Knack, which has possibly the best bass line ever.)
  3. “Blinding Light” (Adam Young of Owl City Remix): I can handle Owl City. I love Switchfoot. Trying to make Switchfoot sound like Owl City is not a good idea. The subject matter is too intense to sound right with such a lighthearted background. If I didn’t know, I might think this was Jon singing for Owl City, and that sounds like an awkward combination at best.
  4. “Darkest Horses” (JT Daly of Paper Route Remix): Now this is what I look for in a remix. One of the things I love most about Switchfoot is the lyrics, so I love remixes that leave good solid chunks of the lyrics intact. I also liked that the title was changed just enough so that you can tell it’s a remix without needing to read inside the parentheses. Second-best song of the album.
  5. “Vice Verses” (Darren King Remix): I liked Darren King’s remix of “Yet” from Hello Hurricane okay, but I think “Vice Verses” works best in its original form. It needs to be acoustic.
  6. “The War Inside” (DnJ Remix): Sorry, Drew and Jerome, but I’m not feeling it. I liked that the acoustic line reminded me of “Boys of Summer” at the very beginning, but that’s the only part I liked. Maybe I just love the chorus too much to ever really enjoy a version that doesn’t use it enough.
  7. “Afterlife” (Neon Feather Remix): The beginning was startling after the soft and smooth ending of the previous track, but I found myself jolted into awesomeness. I was half-napping while I listened to the last four tracks, but I started basically dancing while lying down when I heard this one. I couldn’t tap my toes from my position lying there, but I certainly tried. I loved that an entire verse was played intact. I have a soft spot for techno dance music. It sounded as though Daft Punk had decided to feature Jon Foreman’s vocals, and it was fantastic! I’m so glad this won the remix contest, and I can absolutely see why it won. They saved the best for last and didn’t even know it.

Remixes can be tough. It’s tricky to balance references to the original while making something that is justifiably new. This was a good step in that direction, though. I can’t wait to see what Switchfoot has in store next.

7 Quick Takes Friday: Vol. 174

Yikes. I meant to post this yesterday, when I decided I should just change this to 7 Quick Takes Saturday for my purposes, like my friend Jessa has done with the Sunday Seven. Then I forgot to actually post it. Fail.

— 1 —

An old college acquaintance, Ada, shared an article about why not to read Fifty Shades of Grey on Facebook. I love it. Her reasons are not specifically Catholic, but they are biblically informed, and I agree with her. I don’t read erotica as a rule, but I definitely don’t read popular books that feed people lies about sex. Popular opinion is bad enough. When this is what’s popular, I start losing hope.

— 2 —

I use Instagram, and I just realized that the Instagram blog, which I have been following for a few months, is so much better when viewed at the actual site than through RSS (which is how I read all the other blogs I follow). The editors use the featured images to make an unequally proportioned collage, and when you hover over each photo, the others are darkened, it is highlighted, and it links you to the photo’s home on Instagram.com. Brilliant!

— 3 —

I have started making my way back into the Harry Potter fandom (the mostly online fan community). I’d forgotten the joy and fun spirits all these people have. Not through the fandom but via The Leaky Cauldron on Facebook, I found this video of “all” the spells in all 8 HP movies. It’s not perfect (if Dumbledore’s memory removals counted, why not Slughorn’s or Snape’s, which were equally as important?), but it’s pretty fantastic. For example, just look at the number of spells cast in the first few movies compared to the latter ones, which had fight scenes full of spells. Even for the fight scenes, it’s a different experience to see them without dialogue and the non-magical fighting moments. It’s seventeen and a half minutes, so settle in, but it is seventeen and a half minutes of awesome, so get excited.

— 4 —

Can I please have all the HP merchandise? I want these earrings and this shirt because Ravenclaws are winning, and this shirt to match my Pottermore house. And this one, because it is so perfectly subtle and awesome.

— 5 —

Speaking of Instagram, I’d heard of solutions for printing IG photos as magnets, books, and wall art, but I had not yet seen these basic prints. They’re like thick Polaroids that don’t come straight out of your camera. I especially like that they have the wide blank space at the bottom for writing captions. It’s like Polaroids are back in new high-tech clothing!

— 6 —

At the grocery store earlier this evening, I sniffed out the staffer cooking free samples of sausage. It turned out that she’d used not toothpicks, but mini pretzel rods as serving tools. That is genius! It’s a bonus free sample, and it creates zero trash. Why haven’t I ever seen that before?

— 7 —

I discovered last week that I greatly enjoy tater tots and Sonic cheeseburgers. This may prove to be a bad discovery.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

7 Quick Takes Friday, Vol. 173

— 1 —

While viewing a blog post on a serious topic, I was invited to watch this cover of “Somebody That I Used to Know,” a song that grew on me once I started listening to the the lyrics. (I originally just liked the main singer’s vocal range and use of xylophone.) I think this is one of the best covers I’ve ever heard, period. It’s got five people playing a single guitar. This might be better than OK Go.

Although I must say that it is a strange world we live in when, because of this, I am no longer impressed by the video I saw a while ago of two people playing one guitar. The bar has been raised.

— 2 —

I watched the House series finale on my DVR this week. I loved the retrospective they aired before it, even if only to hear Hugh Laurie’s native accent. We’ve had a couple of Australian exchange students at work this year, and I wonder if they’d sound like him if they tried to fake an American accent.

I thought the finale was fantastic. I’m a little embarrassed that I didn’t see it coming. The only thing that would have made it perfect was if Cuddy had shown up again. I know she left because of contract negotiations, but I hate when storytellers can’t recover from real-world circumstances. Perhaps it was the House version of “Once More with Feeling”: the bright spot after Buffy had been struggling in its post-cancellation/new network/Buffy’s not dead anymore life. If you’ve never seen House, it is syndicated on multiple channels. And if you have, a great way to look back is to relive eight awesome seasons of Patients of the Week.

Now let’s see if How I Met Your Mother will end as gracefully next spring. (It’s not official, but I don’t think it can last through a ninth season, and I want the ending to be legendary.)

— 3 —

Speaking of House‘s Patients of the Week, I was intrigued earlier this season when Chase had an encounter with a novice. As a Catholic, my ears are always tuned for representations of Catholicism in the media, which are usually inaccurate. In brief, the episode presents the POTW as a woman about to take her first profession in a brown-habited religious order. (I noted that no one on House’s team seems to realize that you can still “get out of it,” so to speak, even after first vows. That’s why they’re first.) Chase, the Australian doctor who went to Catholic school (that magic bullet that gives everyone instant theological expertise!) notices that she is very pretty and is clearly attracted to her. But she’s taken. By God. The episode is titled “Chase,” though, so that’s not the end of it.

The wrinkle is that the woman is also attracted to Chase and shows up at his apartment one night claiming to have given up on religious life. She eventually returns to her order, leaving Chase hurt and confused. I wasn’t quite sure what to think. Now that I’ve viewed that POTW slideshow, I’m guessing the writers needed a nun this season to parallel the one from the first season and to continue to explore House’s (false) science-vs-faith dichotomy. Since the woman is just the POTW, though, we don’t get to see how she moves on from her fling with Chase. I think it was useful to portray that doubting one’s beliefs and choices can confirm them, and that God always forgives. We don’t see a lot of that on TV; we mostly get the leaving and the relief at having given up on past beliefs.

— 4 —

I have been so popular this week. It was my bonus week off from work, so that would usually have spelled disaster in the form of sitting around and not doing much. Instead, I had an outing every single day:

  • a graduation/birthday party on Sunday between Masses,
  • a visit to a philosophy-based apologetics series on Monday, featuring a UT professor and 7QT host Mrs. Fulwiler herself),
  • jury duty on Tuesday morning, during which I didn’t have to actually serve,
  • my morality discussion group on Tuesday night, which I led for a change,
  • a friend’s community orchestra concert on Wednesday,
  • To Kill a Mockingbird at the Paramount with a friend on Thursday, which was still a fantastic movie despite the loud and oddly-timed laughter of many of the other patrons (TKAM is not a funny movie),
  • a prayer service for the communal effects of abortion last night, which was co-organized by a friend and diocesan colleague of mine and a friend-of-a-friend I met last Saturday,
  • and trivia night tonight.

Next week looks so sad in comparison.

— 5 —

I miss Harry Potter. I know it hasn’t gone anywhere, per se, and I just started tiptoeing back into Pottermore, so that’s been delightful. But I miss being part of the fandom at FictionAlley and reading fanfiction and getting to know other fans online and all that jazz. I have currently just rejoined a LiveJournal community centered around Potter-related activities, and I hope that will help. And there’s still a good dozen chapters of Pottermore.

I also plan to actually set up a summer-long slow marathon of all eight movies with a friend of mine. I refuse to watch either part of Deathly Hallows on its own anymore now that they’re both out, though, so that one might require an actual marathon.

— 6 —

I have a video this week, so I’m not as much in need of a picture as usual. I will note, though, that I found a way to brighten up my Booking Through Thursday posts. I turned to Google Images to find a nice big header, and then I asked the creator for permission via email. It felt so old-school to be using an email address instead of a contact form, but it worked out very nicely, and now I can use this:

Many thanks to Jamie!

— 7 —

In her Quick Takes, Jen lamented that other participants have themes for theirs and she doesn’t. I like not having a theme. I see 7QT as my weekly opportunity to dump seven bits of information that aren’t big enough for individual posts. This is the way I used to blog in college. I look at my calendar and think “what happened this week?” And then I write about it. Done and done.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday Five: Miscellany

I’m not always a fan of the random question grouping (that’s an oxymoron), but these look intriguing.

  1. What’s your favorite sandwich? I don’t know if anyone has ever asked me that before. I really enjoy the turkey guacamole sandwich at Schlotzsky’s, especially because it comes on wheat bread and with just a touch of sliced red onions. So tasty. I also like to make peanut butter sandwiches with tortillas. (Think quesadilla, but wit peanut butter.) I made it up when we were out of bread once, and it was so tasty that I started making them all the time.
  2. You have unlimited funds and unlimited space to make your dream abode. What and where is it, and what does it look like? Do you share it with anyone/anything? At the moment, I’d like to stay in Austin because I enjoy my job, and I’d stay in this part of town. It might be nice to move a bit farther to the west in my neighborhood, though. I live alone, so I don’t really need more space, but it would be sweet if I could have unlimited space to store my books. I wouldn’t necessarily have unlimited funds to buy them, but I’d be able to at least keep them somewhere.
  3. If you made a movie, what would it be about and who would be in it? Well, as I mentioned in my review of October Baby yesterday, I would like to make another compelling story (I love stories) with values like mine that isn’t cheesy, preachy, or badly produced, but is still honest. I like the idea of using minor celebrities to add legitimacy, but I don’t know who I’d pick.
  4. If you were to start a charity, what would it be for? I work for charity. Can it just be us? No? There are so many great and underrepresented causes. The first thing I’d want to contribute to is one of the organizations that helps potential entrants to seminary or the novitiate pay off their education loans so they can enter. If I had to start my own charity, it would be raising money for (moral) research about cancers that aren’t breast cancer or leukemia. People are aware of and focused on those to the exclusion of so many others. (I have a pet peeve about claims of “raising awareness” for breast cancer. People are aware!) I would be more inclined to contribute to an existing charity than to start my own.
  5. What’s your favorite music video? (Bonus points if you embed/link it.) I’ve embedded or linked back to “Captain Jack Sparrow” so many times already.OK Go makes great videos, too. To answer this question, I popped over to YouTube to see what I might have missed and discovered this apparently most recent one. I prefer the ones that have the actual band members because they’re musicians, not dancers, so it’s awesome to see them dance anyway. These featured players are dancers, however, and they’re almost mesmerizing. I also love some of the woman’s dresses. So many colors, and at knee length!

That was the best random question set in a very long time. Coming next week: a better image to accompany the F5!

The Friday Five

Friday Five: Goals

At least I didn’t have the goal of posting the F5 on the correct day every week!

  1. We are a third of the way through this year. How are those New Year[‘]s Resolutions coming along? I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, so I guess they’re going fantastically!
  2. Have your goals for the year changed? I didn’t make it an explicit goal, but I wanted to build and maintain a good regular posting frequency. Adding three new memes to my week (7 Quick Takes Friday, Top Ten Tuesday, and Booking Through Thursday) definitely helped with that. I never have to worry about having a post topic for the day. On the other hand, it has made me less likely to write the life-update and essay-style posts I used to do.
  3. When working on personal achievements, do you do better when left alone, or do you need a support network of friends/family? With my blogging, it has helped to know that the world can see when I post or do not post. With most other goals, I tend to keep them to myself unless I have a huge triumph. Then again, Maura was very helpful when I was trying to take up vegetables. Without her, I might never have discovered the joy of fresh spinach as a salad on its own.
  4. Who is your best personal airbag? Airbags are only there to rescue you. Airbags by definition never share your joy. I hope I don’t have anyone I only turn to in extreme crisis, and if I do, I apologize for treating him, her, or them so badly.
  5. What song or quote do you think best describes you right now? Well, life is relatively easy now that the Easter season is here and summer is approaching. It’s not easy overall, of course, but I feel much less frazzled than I did just a month ago. The first song that popped into my head was “Ease on Down the Road.” Mom would be pleased.

There’s a long chunk of related video links in a style I’ve never seen before at the end; sorry about that. I don’t usually get ads on YouTube, so I’m not sure what’s up with that. It’s The Wiz, though, so you know it’s going to be good.

The Friday Five

Friday Five: Music

This post is late, and my 7 Quick Takes will be late, too, but I’ve had such a great week that I don’t really care.

  1. How often do you listen to music? I probably listen to music every day, but that’s a happy accident more than an intentional life choice. I overhear so much music throughout the day: in stores, at work, and what I play myself.
  2. Do you ever listen to the radio? What is your favorite station?I listen to the radio all the time! It’s usually on when I’m in my car. I listen to Mix 94.7 because I like their morning show best—they play news headlines for one minute at the top of the hour and actually play entire songs as well. I listen to Kiss-FM for more pop music, Spirit for Austin Christian music, and our K-LOVE affiliate for more Christian music. At work, I listen to Air1 or Big R Radio online. I also have the cable package I do because I like to run Music Choice in the background sometimes for DJed commercial-free music.
  3. How do you find new songs, albums, or artists to listen to? I hear a lot on the radio. Occasionally I’ll get a recommendation from a friend or student.
  4. When was the last time you bought a CD? A digital music file? My last physical CD was Vice Verses, because I love Switchfoot. My last song download was either a free song from Air1 or K-LOVE (which they offer every week), or “Captain Jack Sparrow,” which I love, because it’s awesome and I felt a hole in my life fillable only by owning that song.
  5. Do you think any of the technologies and distribution methods mentioned above will still be around in ten years? Why or why not? CDs have been popular since the 80s and mp3s at least since I was in high shool, so I don’t see them disappearing anytime soon. The radio might be dead if not for cars. It’s just so much easier to let the radio DJs work for you for only the cost of your radio.

Here’s the hilarious but not family-friendly video for “Captain Jack Sparrow.” I defy you to not burst out laughing.

The Friday Five

© 2002–2020. Powered by WordPress & Romangie Theme.